The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has officially confirmed a new record temperature for continental Europe of 48.8°C – that’s nearly 120°F. The searing temperature was recorded in Syracuse on the Italian island of Sicily on 11 August 2021 and verified by an international panel of atmospheric scientists.

The previous record of 48.0°C had been held by the Greek cities of Athens and Elefsina since July 1977. However, it was based on government sources and not independently verified by WMO, the UN’s weather agency.

Spokesperson Clare Nullis said it was important that the world “has confidence” that global records are properly measured and verified, adding that “the extremes that we are monitoring, verifying [are] snapshots of our changing climate”.

The agency said the investigation also demonstrates the alarming tendency for continuing high temperature records to be set, warning that greater extremes will occur across Europe in the future. The confirmation involved lengthy procedures, meticulous care and painstaking evaluation to ensure the levels of confidence, Ms. Nullis added.

Source: The UN

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